Manicotti ,best recipe? ricotta& meat sauce?

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by alexb, Nov 6, 2014.

  1. alexb

    alexb

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    Hi I used to order manicotti at a local restaurants around me. I liked it ,and am thinking of trying to make it . I also would like to try to make ricotta , so this could be a nice way of using the ricotta and a simple meat sauce ?

    Any suggestions please .

    AB  
     
  2. teamfat

    teamfat

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    Never tried making ricotta, but I have heard it was easy. Was thinking Italian for tonight, maybe I'll do a little research...

    mjb.
     
  3. Iceman

    Iceman

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    4 cups whole milk
    2 cups heavy cream
    1 teaspoon salt (kosher or sea)
    3 tablespoons white wine vinegar

    Milk-cream-salt into a stainless bowl. Bring to easy boil. Dump in vinegar and gently stir. Let stand for a little bit until the curds start to form. Stir a little bit more, very gently. Gently pour into a strainer lined w/ 3-4+? layers of cheesecloth. Let drain for a half hour to an hour. Good to go.
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2014
  4. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    Stuffing manicotti tubes is a major hassle imho if you're not using a piping bag. For a home cook it's easier to buy a box of no-boil lasagna noodles. These are flat pasta rectangles that have been cooked and dried so they basically just need heat and hydration. Boil them for five minutes until they're quite flexible. Lay the filling on one end and roll them up. You'll have to play with filling amounts a little to get the ratio of filling to pasta that you want. 

    I've also made them with an herb crepe sort of thing. Texture is more delicate but it's a good dish too. 
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2014
  5. alexb

    alexb

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    I'd like to use the buttermilk recipe some where else  on this site, I can't quite remember how it goes. But it's buttermilk instead of vinegar.
    It sounds like very good advice, I will do this. This should be a very easy job as "team fat" has said & economical . {{{{What are  the best kind of things to put in a manicotti}}}}} ?? . Ricotta, a very simple meat sauce and , ???? A different cheese like parmesan? Or nothing more .

    Anymore advice, as to how to cook them in the oven. For how long ?
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2014
  6. Iceman

    Iceman

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    OK.

    3 cups whole milk
    1 cup heavy cream
    1 1/2 cups buttermilk
    salt (?)

    Bring it to a gentle boil. Gently stir. Let it sit half an hour. Strain through cheesecloth. ... Just as easy.
     
  7. alexb

    alexb

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    Does using either buttermilk or vinegar make it taste different ? Is one of these, better than the other?
     
  8. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    It would be difficult to discern the difference imho as you drain so much whey off the product. The vinegar and liquid of the buttermilk will drain off. The primary action of the buttermilk or vinegar is to coagulate the milk protein (and buttermilk proteins) in conjunction with the heat. 
     
  9. alexb

    alexb

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    I have some Apple cider vinegar, already in the house. would this work as well?

    Alex 

    thank's
     
  10. teamfat

    teamfat

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    I would tend to think any vinegar would work. I've also seen recipes which use lemon juice as the acid. No doubt subtle differences in flavor among them.

    mjb.
     
  11. Iceman

    Iceman

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    We're talking $5 to make more than a batch of both. It ain'te rocket surgery. Have fun and make them both. Decide for yourself.
     
  12. teamfat

    teamfat

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    Made a batch of ricotta with lemon juice as the curdling agent. Manicotti was quite tasty the other nigh. Finished off the last of it in stuffed squash tonight.

    One thing was that I thought I had some cheesecloth, but couldn't find it, lined the strainer with a few layers of paper towels. Worked just fine.

    mjb.
     
  13. alexb

    alexb

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    Thanks for all the replies. I think I'll try the manicotti making it simply with ricotta and some other cheese ( but what ) ? then make a meat sauce and pour   over it in stead of plane pasta . 

    Sounds obvious ha /img/vbsmilies/smilies/chef.gif. ricotta and mozzarella ?​ What cheese does ricotta best go with ? 

    Thanks 

    Alex 
     
  14. alexb

    alexb

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    Oh well , It didn't work .

    The milk and the cream were both ultra pasteurized (did a little googling ). Very good tasting organic milk but ultra pasteurized and homogenized. Damn I wish I could buy raw milk.

    Is there Hope working with this stuff?

    Thanks 

    Alex 
     
  15. cheflayne

    cheflayne

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    Yes, neither pasteurization nor homogenization would interfere with the process of making ricotta.
     
  16. teamfat

    teamfat

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    Perhaps there wasn't enough fat content? Hard to say without knowing what actually happened.

    mjb.
     
  17. alexb

    alexb

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    I'd like to update on what happened. I saved the attempt at making ricotta by pouring it in a jar and putting it into the refrigerator (I didn't drain it because it did not seem to separate much) because I didn't know what to do with it. Each place I read on the Internet on how to make it they said avoid ultra P&H . Interestingly I looked at the glass jar in the refrigerator this evening and it's  more solid than it was. However in the process of making the ricotta it's supposed to coagulate, and the Whey is supposed to be clear , leaving a thin yellowish liquid. Now what I have in the jar is a thick mass that doesn't look anything like lumpy ricotta or the lumps are very very small. Doesn't ricotta need that lumpiness to it? I never drained this because I didn't think it was ricotta. I thought it was defeated ricotta. Because of the ultra pasteurized and ultra homogenized milk and cream I used.
    Should I now try to drain this and use it. And except it as a  more or less not so correct Ricotta ? I think I'm going to try to use it. but how, now should I drain it? does it need to be heated up a little?  before I put it into the cheesecloth and let it drane ?
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2014